Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fantasies Of The Master Race Goes To Pandora

So far, the white liberal left has refused to publish this righteously outraged analysis of James Cameron's racist AVATAR. We're honored to have the opportunity to bring this work to our readers. Parallels to Tamarack Song's Great White Savior mentality abound for those paying attention.

Update: 12.29.09: For an analysis of District 9's racism, please see this post at Racialicious titled "District 9 Is Racist [Alternate Perspective]".
A Science Fiction Masterpiece for Liberals:

Fantasies of the Master Race goes to Pandora

by Val D. Phillips

If you wish to read copious praise for Avatar's special effects and political good intentions, kindly look everywhere else on the net. It's time we so-called radicals start talking about the failure of Avatar's good intentions and James Cameron's eyes-wide-open walk into racist storytelling.

I'm not going to restate the plot of Avatar here. If you're one of the five people on the planet who hasn't seen it yet, it's basically Dances with Last Samurai In Space.

Instead, I need to go straight to the question that has plagued me since seeing this film. Why is it cinema's indigenous peoples, no matter how wise, spiritually enlightened and physically fit they are, can somehow never figure out how to defeat whitey without whitey? And not just whitey as an advisor, a double-agent, who maybe can shed a little useful intel on the enemy, but as their leader?

Three months into his relationship with the indigenous Na'vi, Jake Sully, a grunt by his own admission, appoints himself general of the entire Na'vi resistance against their human invaders. Apparently, humans are so incredibly smart, so much more politically and militarily brilliant than their Na'vi brothers, that even a foot-soldier, a Marine corporal, can out-strategize the most experienced Na'vi warrior, a man chosen by his people to lead his people. Said warrior just steps right out of the way when Jake Sully steps up to speak because, after all, Jake Sully is...nobody in particular, not to mention the guy whose treachery just resulted in the complete destruction of the people's home!

Apparently there isn't a single Na'vi, male or female, who, having lived on Pandora an entire life, knowing its landscape and peoples intimately, raised as hunters and warriors in daily communication with Na'vi ancestors, spirits and non-humanoid animals, could lead the people better than this guy. Apparently native peoples simply can't figure out for themselves that they all need to work together to get rid of the genocidal imperialist bastards.

Apparently Tecumseh never made it to Pandora. Or any of James Cameron's classrooms.

Also, apparently, whitey need only exploit indigenous history (anthropogists call it "myth" if they're feeling charitable and "superstition" if they're not) to persuade a people still reeling from the trauma of brutal ethnic cleansing that despite his responsibility for said ethnic cleansing, he's really an okay guy and someone to be trusted with their very survival. Sweet they are, these Na'vi. Sweet, noble, and maybe just a tad naive?

Was I the only one who cringed deep into my seat when Jake Sully attempted to repair his relationship with his adopted tribe by "bonding" with the largest bird on the planet so he can convince the people he's really special and someone to be admired. This is the same guy who, upon "bonding" with his first, smaller bird-steed said, "you're mine now," showing that despite Na'vi princess Neytiri's patient tutelage, he still hadn't a clue about indigenous peoples' relationships to the natural world. Now, I can't claim to be a "Na'vi expert" (despite the fact that I'm white, and therefore an expert on all things indigenous) but it would seem to me the whole concept of "owning" an animal to whom you have made a lifetime commitment would be considered anthema to a people with a worldview like the Na'vi.

Apparently, the indigenous people of Pandora are so physically and spiritually inept compared to Jake Sully that while only 5 of their people in the entire history of their world have ever bonded with this creature, Jake Sully manages it so easily Cameron can't even be bothered to show us the struggle on film.

Narratively, in such a white liberal wet dream, it goes without saying that the gorgeous and brave Na'vi princess Neytiri, superior to Jake Sully in every way that Cameron explores, would, for no apparent reason, fall in love and mate for life with the man ninety days after she had first called him a child in his understanding of her world. The only criticism most folks seem willing to offer of this nonsense is that it's cliched. It's not just cliched; it's racist, not to mention ridiculous.

I'm guessing Cameron thought he could get away with this--if he thought about it all--because he put the white human in a blue Na'vi's body. In the 20th century they called this type of acting "putting on black face." Apparently in the 21st century we've evolved to "putting on blue face (and body)." Now there's a cinematic achievement.

Don't get me wrong. I love a good race traitor movie as much as the next person. And I really do appreciate some of Avatar's attempts to bring eco-consciousness and an anti-invasion sentiment to the youth of this country. Trudy, the Marine who turns against her own, is a fine heroine, and Neytiri definitely channels the more bad-ass side of Pocahontas. There are few things that make me happier than seeing imperialists successfully repelled, particularly the white, corporate, English-speaking variety.

But if you want to see a good film about a race traitor, the movie to see is District 9, not Avatar. With Avatar, James Cameron had the opportunity to create his magnum opus, a masterpiece of cinematic storytelling in which his technological achievements were matched by a truly eye-opening story. He not only failed, he reinforces with Avatar some of the most destructive racist myths written by white liberals.

Enjoy the 3-D, but don't the nifty glasses keep you from seeing it for what it is.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, i know the frauds has to be stoped. But lets do something. Talked to them. Go to the frauds. You steal culture. Do you know this guy is a fraud. What are you learning at this guys?

Better than texting to educated stuff. Keep on the ground men!

1/30/2010 4:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't agree with you on all points.

First of all, I don't think it's strange that a race focused completely on their bond with nature, has no idea how to beat a race which is focused entirely around technology (the human race has lived through war, through war, through war - why wouldn't we be experts on it when it's all we've ever accomplished?). Therefore, I don't find it strange that they need Jake Sully (and the other "whiteys" in Na'vi costumes mind you) to bring down the human race. Someone on the inside, knowing both their technology and way of thinking. Jaky Sully leading the counter-attack makes total sense to me. How can you fight something you have no knowledge of. It's like trying to make a vaccine for a disease you never encountered.

Neither do I agree on that noone amongst the Na'vi understood how to bring all the clans together. They understood fully well what it would take, as far as I remember it is Neytiri who explains this to Jake Sully.

What is strange though is that noone amongst the Navi had figured out how to ride the big bird, if it was so mindnumblingly easy as it's portrayed in the movie. They're hunters, they live with and off nature, it's their territory and their lives. So that is, for me, completely unreasonable, illogical and an utter insult. Is he implying that native races are somehow dumber than other races? I don't know.

With the african-style music going about, I got the chills. It's pretty clear how the director wants us to see this movie. It's all very black and white, there are more silly caricatures in this movie than I can count on my fingers and toes.

As always though, the coin has two sides. It's a poorly written and worded story with good intentions and stunning visuals. And seemingly it makes people realize/imagine (depending on your view of civilization today) that something is amiss in today's emotionally dysfunctional society where we spend our entire lives trying to get away from nature. That there are other values in life, that we have lost something important and that there's a lot to learn from people who are living close to nature. And that, I think, is a good thing. Despite all the bullshit in the movie.

2/17/2010 5:04 PM  
Blogger Nemeses said...

"How can you fight something you have no knowledge of."

Almost twenty minutes of the beginning of the movie is dedicated to the invading meatheads warning the newbie Jake about the warring Navi and how dangerous they are. The lead psychopath even has three scars down his head to prove it. The Navi are more than familiar with the nature of the technology being visited upon them since they are always on the receiving end of it.

Did you miss 911? There is an example of how a people with less access to technology can still turn it back on their oppressors. Bin Laden - who supposedly lives in a cave - was able to read the nature of his oppressors and get them to overreact to his largely symbolic attack. The fascists are now bogged down in the graveyard of empires - Afghanistan - which Bin Laden claims was his plan all along.

You see, in the real world, indigenous people time and time again figure out how to defeat a stronger opponent by using his strength against him. This is generally known as guerrilla warfare and it has NEVER needed a white guy to explain it to the oppressed.

But that's the real world. Not some white male fantasy.

2/18/2010 8:17 PM  
Blogger Pangolin said...

Up to his old tricks. I noticed the name change.

3/03/2010 6:22 PM  
Blogger Nemeses said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Pangolin. Orlov's ideas in his New Age of Sail were outstanding and some of us have been fans of the man ever since reading it. Reinventing Collapse is also excellent.

You, however, wrote our favorite quote of the week in one of your blog's older posts:

"If you can write clearly, you can think clearly."

This simple but essential mantra shall be repeated twenty times upon waking and twenty times before going to bed.


3/03/2010 7:51 PM  

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